March 19, 2008

Equal nox

Tomorrow is that vaguely astronomical holiday, where bearded men get out their sextants and declare with authority that it is now seasonally acceptable to mix lemonade with ice tea. It is cold and rainy here, so I may wait a few weeks to do that, but I will not have to wait another minute to balance my egg.

As the myth goes, of course, at the precise moment of equinoxity it is possible, albeit briefly, to balance an egg on its end, an otherwise impossible task. How this idea began is truly baffling. As is the thought that anyone who has pondered the mechanics of this idea for more than 30 seconds would continue to believe in it. (For more background, Snopes wins the quality name contest with "Infernal Egguinox"). I suspect that the only reason this notion continues to exist in the popular imagination is that equinoxes are the only day in the year anyone ever actually tries balancing eggs. Anyway, whatever the link between eggs and 12 hours of daylight is, I have long heard that one can balance an egg on any day of the year. But, the world has breathlessly wondered, how?

Well, at long last, Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy demonstrates:


3 comments:

AwesomeAlias said...

http://www.newsnet5.com/news/15633657/detail.html?subid=10101081

(Ryan) said...

If she thinks those fishsticks are good, I've got some amazing window panes to sell her.

AwesomeAlias said...

Hey-oo!!